It's been a year since I started faithfully working out after having Ella. I have finally gotten to the point where I needed a goal to work towards. I will go to Group Ride every Tuesday/Thursday and I will run Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat, but for what? I needed to have a purpose for my training, so that I could push myself. And my gym-buddy, Jess, was feeling the same way. We decided to do the Shamrock 15k and we signed up for a half marathon in May. I'm excited to have someone there with me through all of the miles of training. And, unlike when I did my training alone, it is nice to have someone push me on the days I don't want to be running at all.
My approach has been different to the last time I trained for my half marathon. I have tried to be more laid back. I don't beat myself up if I have to miss a run for a meeting or a sick kiddo and I'm trying to truly enjoy the running. It's been harder for me to get into the "zone" and stay focused, but I'm giving it a try. Jess has definitely helped me keep my focus. We are very much alike in that we speak our minds, we want to reach our goal and we have high expectations for ourselves. It is going to be tough, but I think we are doing great so far.
So......the Shamrock Run. Our training for this was mostly okay, except for one run. We decided to run the hills of West Salem, in preparation for this hilly 9+mile run we'd signed up for. Long story short, Jess killed that hill and I nearly died. Not kidding. Not being dramatic. It. was. horrible. Hills are my enemy and I was mad that it was MY idea to do the 15k. We could have done the 8k and run it really fast. But no, we signed up for the 15k. And neither of us had the guts to back out of it. So I was dreading the Shamrock Run. I've never had a race that I didn't want to do, until this one. Did I mention I was dreading it? UGH!
The morning of the Shamrock we got up really early and headed up to Portland. Our race started at 7:45 (yuck), so we made sure to get there plenty early. This meant I was tired. But despite the misty weather, we were determined to push through the hill. Honestly, I just couldn't wait to get it over with, so we could move on. Turns out, the hill that the website described AND graphed was no where near as horrible as we'd anticipated. We actually could have gone faster. Say what? I kept thinking "I feel pretty good. I could go faster." But I was sure that there was going to be a steep mountain that we'd have to climb, so we just kept plotting along. This was Jess' first race ever and neither one of us dared to take any chances. When we made it to the top of the peak, they had a live band playing music, and I literally cheered out loud because we'd made it. Then, we kicked it into higher gear and settled into the second half of our race. It rained much harder the second half of our run, but we still held a pretty good pace. Our last 1.5 miles we weren't talking much, but just running steady. In the end, we finished with a 9:19 pace. Our goal going into it (keeping this huge hill in mind) was somewhere around 10:15-30. We would have been ecstatic to have a 10:00 pace, so we were really proud of our 9:19 (and knowing that we'd played it safe and definitely could have gone faster).
Me and Jess before the 15k